I really like South Dakota. I wouldn’t stay here if I didn’t.
But Governor Kristi Noem’s latest ad campaign to exploit the coronavirus pandemic to lure Minnesota businesses who don’t like having to protect public health demonstrates that my home state’s business-über-alles attitude has turned truly pathological:
In her press release on this horrible pitch, Governor Noem says she’s after out-of-state business who’ve “become more and more frustrated with overreach by their state governments,” but everybody understands that she’s talking about government responses to coronavirus and urging people to move to places that don’t take community action to save lives. Her economic development chief Steve Westra drops the thin coyness and makes explicit our official antipathy to government efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus and our Ferengi preference for profit:
Right now Governor Noem is unquestionably our biggest marketing tool. The national exposure she has received for how South Dakota handled COVID-19 really resonates with business owners [Governor’s Office of Economic Development Commissioner Steve Westra, press release, 2020.07.16].
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz responds with gentle dismissal and empirical data:
“The idea we’re going to pit one another (against each other) and we’re going to take this COVID situation as a reason to start (moving) business, I don’t think it’s a good sell,” Walz said. “I think people will stay in Minnesota.”
Walz touted Minnesota’s heftier testing capacity, noting Minnesota has a lower per capita rate of infections than South Dakota. As of Thursday, South Dakota had a higher rate of confirmed infections, at 858 per 100,000 people. Minnesota, meanwhile, reported a rate of confirmed infections of 769 per 100,000 people. South Dakota reported a substantially lower death rate from COVID-19 compared to Minnesota [Dana Ferguson, “Gov. Kristi Noem Aims to Lure Virus-Weary Minnesota Businesses with Ad Campaign,” Worthington Globe, 2020.07.16].
Governor Walz’s economic development chief Steve Grove says Minnesota’s good government and good economy speak for themselves:
In a telephone interview Thursday, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development commissioner Steve Grove defended the state’s coronavirus mitigation efforts, saying they struck a balance between public health needs and economic concerns. He pointed to the state’s low rate of poverty, high rate of business survival and the number of Fortune 500 companies in Minnesota as evidence of it being hospitable to business.
“We are a state that prizes our talent, that prizes business growth and that companies flock to to grow, and I think we don’t need an ad campaign to remind Minnesotans of that,” Grove said. “It’s just the truth” [Ferguson, 2020.07.16].
In a way, Governor Noem is only continuing the anti-Minnesota anarcho-capitalist hogwash of every Republican South Dakota governor of our lifetimes. That hogwash is sour grapes, because it has yet to result in South Dakota’s economy outperforming that of the People’s Republic of Minnesota:
The handful of Minnesotans who would watch Kristi Noem peep Freedom™ on YouTube and say, “Hey, South Dakota takes coronavirus less seriously! Let’s move there!” are the last people are the last people we want to recruit for economic development. They’re likely not the Minnesotans getting those additional college degrees, inventing more medical devices, attracting more venture capital, building more Fortune 500 companies, and producing more exports and GDP and wages. They’re probably not the Minnesotans reading the above data or the scientific research on coronavirus and making evidence-based decisions about where and how to do business. They’re just the ones whose reckless, selfish behavior will drive our coronavirus rates even higher than Minnesota’s (870 per 100K pop here, 786 per 100K in Minnesota) and ensure that we keep electing vain and venal figurehead rodeo queens instead of smart civic-minded policymakers. South Dakota’s pathology feeds itself.
Minnesota doesn’t have to spend $369,500 on YouTube videos to get 6.4 times as many people to pick Minnesota over South Dakota. They probably don’t mind that Kristi Noem siphons off their dipsticks and leaves those who recognize the unspoken but obvious slogan: Minnesota—make more money, live longer to enjoy it.
“South Dakota’s pathology feeds itself.”
The disparity for construction work wages between the two states rests almost solely on the high percentage of MN construction employment that is UNIONIZED. Saying this as a SD’n employed in the construction industry by a UNION SHOP Minnesota firm. In addition – we work nation wide. Not many SD construction co.s can say that.
That was a very good movie. Too good. We don’t need to be encouraging out-of-staters to come here. Keep them all in Sioux Falls, stop showing pictures of the Black Hills.
The national exposure she has received for how South Dakota handled COVID-19 really resonates with business owners
Uh, Noem Nothing hasn’t exactly handled covid situation at all. At best, it has been mishandled, at worst….a drumpf cluster####! And it is not anywhere near being over.
Trusting citizens to do the right thing clearly means Clewless Covid Kristie is clewless. South Dakota will likely see 2 new milestones later this evening….3.8 million cases and 143k dead bodies. (6% of South Dakota’s total population)
This is only the newest iteration of answering the question, “what (who) is government?” This dichotomy of society versus business on how we define this state, this nation, ourselves needs to be questioned and retorted at this fundamental level. Government is not “them”; government is US – “We the people. . . ” When government acts to protect public safety, it is acting as an agent of society and that threatens the business/owner class of the current GOP/Conservative thinking. Richard’s comment reminds us that the role of unions (although at times imperfect institutions) are the agents of that society-focused paradigm: the thinking model that says that our people are and of right ought to be the center of any policy, regulation, and focus of this nation.
Look to the many, not the the few who seek to exploit the many, the resources, the health and well being of the majority to focus the wealth and prosperity on the few.
This level of opening SD to exploitation is the logical next step in the evolution of SD as a business. Come to SD because our labor force is restricted by its “right to work” (so wages are low). Come to SD because we have low taxes (low investment in our population). Come to SD because of our lax environmental regulation (poison our citizens and environment for maximized profit).
What a comedian. All anyone has to do is look at her numbers to see what a failure she and her legislature are. Oh yes, there is more to blame than this nitwit, there are many in Pierre with an (Rc) beside their names (Republican Covid). See an an R by their name, associate it immediately with Covid19 and failure.
Kristi tell how many people are in S.D. Tell us how spread a part we are . How did you ever get elected.Please go to fox news get a job and stay there.We need more testing in our state , and better wages evidently YOU CAN NOT DO THIS.Any one who wants a test can get a test from her buddy. Yeah right
South Dakota’s Republican Party is politically inbred…no new ideas and less and less understanding of the mistakes it has (and continues) to make. Certainly it does have a good (maybe even great) business environment. Great, as long as you don’t factor in wages, raw materials, distance to markets, health care, education and work force. Even if those things were up to par with the rest of the nation would young people stay? Would others come?
Eastern South Dakota…good for agriculture but the corn in Iowa is taller. Sun, wind, weather…pheasants and walleyes are seasonal and don’t offer great potential for economic growth. Western South Dakota, great for ranching, but oil, gas and coal not in big enough quantities to exploit and on the way out anyway. Black Hills, well, everybody’s playground (which sucks for us who live here).
SD population has grown by 38% since I was born, U.S. population by 128%. Kristi should concentrate on making it a better place to live, concentrate on running the state and stop preening for her own opportunity to leave for what? A better job in Washington?
She could do better by not dealing with Native Americans as adversaries, by recognizing that West River is part of South Dakota, by taking on our regressive tax structure, promoting AND financing better education…the list goes on.
Kristi looks in the mirror and likes what she sees, many of the rest of us look at her accomplishments and see the emptiness.
For God’s sake, Kristi, take a look at the state’s history, and the history of the South Dakota’s GOP…the same tired old approach as when I was in grade school back in the 50s (which was the same as the 60 years before that. A hundred-year-old ain’t gonna win the Olympic hundred yard dash and a Model T ain’t going to win single NASCAR race.
I do love this state and was okay with us being behind the rest of the country but am bothered watching us go BACKWARDS!
I noticed an autocorrect in the press release so I thought I should take it upon myself to fix it. Need to keep everything accurate, you know.
Right now Governor Noem is unquestionably our biggest marketing tool (fool).The national exposure she has received for how South Dakota handled COVID-19 really resonates with business owners [Governor’s Office of Economic Development Commissioner Steve Westra, press release, 2020.07.16].
Where corrupt capitalism reigns.
Where wage earners are expendable.
Where corporations make their own rules
Francis, “fool” works fine there. My first thought was that the word “marketing” didn’t belong. She definitely is “South Dakota’s biggest TOOL.”
Noem may say she let businesses alone during the pandemic. What she really done was keep herself clean from doing anything. She forced all the cities to come up with their own rules.
A full time governor with on staff medical experts deferred the decision making to part time mayors and councilors who in 99% of the cities have no medical experts on staff.
Noem has to think about how that NO LEADERSHIP looks to people. People want leadership from their governor and president. Look how Trumps poll numbers have dropped because he has done nothing. Doing nothing looked good at first, but now people are understanding how this all played out.
Ray summed up my thoughts. It’s not a new strategy. It’s a recycling of a decades old idea that taking the crumbs that fall off Minnesota’s table is good enough.
“Noem may say she let businesses alone during the pandemic. What she really done was keep herself clean from doing anything. She forced all the cities to come up with their own rules.”
Except, that when Mayor TenHaken (in his 15 minutes of integrity and backbone) said that Sioux Falls needed to lockdown and a mask mandate, Kristi said he couldn’t enforce it, and if he tried, she’d veto it. So. She only lets businesses / cities alone when they’re doing her will.
Fake Noize believes she it the err-apparent to drumpf in 2024.
The kinds of businesses Kruel Kristi attracts from Minnesota are that Tru Shrimp scamming bunch. With her pitch, she’ll entice more of the same.
MFI, more the error-apparent to Sarah Palin
God, what a joke. Kristi, focus on South Dakotans for a change. Minnesotans know how anti-LGBT SD is with their famous potty bills the nutty GOP try to pass every year in Pierre. MN is a very pro-LGBT state and would never consider moving to a backwards anti-LGBT wage-repressed state. MN is also continuously ranked as the best state for women. SD women has the highest number of moms working for their low wages. SD – the state that is continuously left behind.
Dear Kristi —
This of course explains why we’ve been trying to get jobs in Minnesota ever since I graduated high school in 1976. We knew back then to get out of SD, and nothing has changed in the meantime.
Minnesota, where they at least paid you a wage you could live on.
Jenny – I appreciate what you’re saying. Why would I stay here and raise my young children for crap wages, while they get a joke of a leader regarding their safety during a pandemic, when the pastures are indeed greener on those two points alone. It boggles the mind the mind that we are still here.
You may poo-poo our governor’s efforts (really not different from the previous administrations – just a different verse to the same old song), but there’s a much better argument that now is the time to really court businesses:
I doubt whether our state locked down or not is an incentive to move, but businesses that were harmed by civil unrest might just look to how SD handled the protests and managed to prevent loss of life & property and think long and hard about where they’ll rebuild.
I understand where you’re coming from but Wayne, but MN takes its LGBT rights very seriously. SD has its own long history of prejudices and racism and that along with repressed wages will be a hard sell. It really hasn’t worked yet. Minnesotans will take a week in the Black Hills for Sturgis and a week for Pheasant Hunting in the Fall and that’s it. SD is a nice enough place to visit but most Minnesotans wouldn’t ever seriously consider moving there. People from out of state have figured out the cost of living being low in SD is a lie also. Sioux Falls and Rapid City are not cheap places to live.
I would think that instead of moving a business to a failed state, business would be better served in building better communities and community ties right there in Minneapolis. Affordable housing and help for small business will surely raise the tide to lift all ships in Minneapolis.
Affordable healthcare and education can be a better draw than moving to a state that has neither. Why trade something like Medicaid Expansion for a “you’re on your own” healthcare. Where does South Dakota send their sick people. sure isn’t South Dakota when Rochester is where you go when you are sick and need answers. South Dakota hospitals are where you go if you want to get Hydroxychloroquine treatment for everything. Loose stools, toothaches, gout, erectile dysfunction, constipation…you go to the quacks here and they give you Hydroxychloroquine and tell you that it’s better than shoving a light bulb up your nether region or drinking clorox.
We have much to change here before this place will be acceptable to send out of state workers too. 50 years of republican corrupted malfeasance has driven home that point.
I see your point Wayne. She’s trying to use Minnesota’s distress to her advantage.
I don’t see much happening however, for all the reasons others have mentioned. That business will move to one of the burbs. Others will take its place because the skilled labor and needed infrastructure are right there.
Whenever the lege or city passes a law or ordinance that advances labor in some way there are always dire warnings that businesses will leave and the wealthy will depart. That’s their political ploy. I suppose if something really draconian were enacted, that would finally come true. They actual response is quite minimal.
The only draconian response to the violence has come from the WH.
Another great selling point for GNOem, snipers on the roof. Gwaaad, nothing and I mean nothing says peace like a bunch of sniper goons on a roof targeting kids through the scopes of high power military sniper rifles, should give them a warm quiver down their legs. Kids brains splatter here in South Dakota, Ya gotta love it.
Jenny, there’s a wealth of information out there that contravenes your intuition. Minnesota actually loses more households to South Dakota than vice versa:
Wayne, I wonder if that’s true regarding businesses?
Minnesotans aren’t moving to Northern Mississippi for their health or better climate, higher paying wages or any other stable reasons known to man. They apparently like a low-information governor who hates taxes and is dumber than drumpf.
There’s always a few MN wanderers that move out yonder to Dakota. The reality is most Minnesotans, if they are going to move, they are going to move someplace warmer.
Success for GNOem, $55,000.00 a year brings this doofus to South Dakota. No one and I mean no one here in South Dakota could qualify for this job. Golf and no experience, yep, a payoff to someone.
“Gov. Kristi Noem has hired a Minnesota man to serve as a policy analyst in the governor’s office with an emphasis on the First Gentleman’s Initiative, which is being led by her husband.
Ben Koisti is a 2019 graduate from the University of Minnesota Crookston where he studied business management and served in student government, according to his LinkedIn page.” Rapid City Journal 7.20.20
We have 1.25 BILLION in BRIBE money to bring these jokers in one at a time. A boy toy for the GNOem girls, how cute.
Jenny, I absolutely agree – the majority of Minnesotans leaving the state are retiring to southern climes. However, the net migration of SD/MN residents winds up in SD’s favor, meaning more Minnesotans move to South Dakota than vice versa. I’ll be honest that the data surprised me, as I figured we’d suffer a larger brain drain to MN.
Debbo, I can’t locate any business migration data, so I can’t do more than speculate. However, there is a tipping point where taxation and regulation makes it increasingly difficult to maintain a thriving business climate. It’s difficult to put your finger on what that point is, but it’s pretty evident in states like NY which have lost swathes of manufacturing since the 60s.
All that aside, my goal is simply to persuade you that SD isn’t the hellish cesspool some of you folks seem to constantly spout. We have access to Mayo Clinic’s care network west river. We have two health systems competing east river. That keeps them on their toes.
And maybe there is something to crow about here, as South Dakota’s COVID deaths per 100k is about half that of MN and IA, despite having more cases per 100k than MN. Was that thanks to our Governor? I doubt that. But the fact is we’re managing to weather the storm (so far) better than many of our neighbors. I’d still take Montana’s or Wyoming’s rates in a heartbeat.
MN is not worried about businesses moving to SD. South Dakotans can tout their so-called pro-business climate all they want but in reality people don’t want to work for low wages. A good business climate includes paying its employees what they’re worth, not nickel and diming them.
Jenny, I agree; pro-business needs to be a more thoughtful and encompassing set of policies that go beyond blank-check exploitation by business. Mn has come to realize that businesses thrive in a community. That means that businesses look for a strong, well-educated, happy workforce, a place to do business that even the owners and management would like to live and raise families(and Mn winters are just as severe as SD).
If the SD path of “pro-business” is right, why then are we such abject failures?
Consistent with Jenny’s view about what a successful business looks for in a community is the concept some attributed to Henry Ford – paying employees a decent wage will help increase the employee’s purchasing power to buy the products the business sells.
Others have disputed this theory, but rely on another theory – Ford concluded that paying employees a decent wage would help retain a consistent work force by discouraging excess turnover.
Either way you look at it, a State that supports paying decent wages to employees is better for a business than a State that encourages low wage exploitation of employees. Noem seems to be claiming South Dakota is in the latter category.
Tru Shrimp cocktails anyone? How many millions will GNOem provide in TIF’s? What EPA rules will be forgotten about? Will we ever have shrimp in Madison? How does corruption really work?
Do we even have a clue on what the real numbers are here in South Dakota regarding covid? A real possibility is no.
“Computational epidemiologist Maimuna Majumder also recommends tracking deaths. Even though deaths lag behind new cases, typically by three weeks to a month, “it’s a good indicator for just how serious of a burden this pandemic is causing, not only on our health care system, but also on the general public’s mental health and well-being.”
Hospitalization data is another way to track the impact of the pandemic that has less of a lag than reported deaths. After the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told hospitals this month to stop reporting data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and report directly to HHS instead, some of these numbers have become more erratic, according to The Covid Tracking Project. Currently, all the states except for Hawaii and Kansas are reporting COVID-19 hospitalization data.” https://www.propublica.org/article/how-to-understand-covid-19-numbers?utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=majorinvestigations&utm_content=feature
Wayne, if you want to live in a police-state you could go to North Korea, you know.
Mr. Koisti only went to school in MN. He’s from Lake Norden, and quite likely a classmate of the governor’s daughter(s).